Popular Bolivian leader urges unity to defeat free trade pact

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Nov 27 06:20:03 MST 2002

Evo Morales, who got massive support in his challenge for the Bolivian
presidency against the open and aggressive opposition of the U.S.
ambassador, is the leader of one of the strongest parties in parliament
which has a strong base among the indigenous peasants of  the country.  He
attended the recent meeting in Havana of opponents of the U.S.-sponsored
Free Trade Area of the Americas.
Fred Feldman

Havana, November 26 (RHC)-- Bolivian indigenous leader Evo Morales has
called on Latin American countries to not join the Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA) and stated that without Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador,
Washington's project is doomed.

Evo Morales told reporters that he is attending the Second Hemispheric
Encounter to Oppose the Free Trade Area of the Americas in order to defend
the region's natural resources. And the Bolivian indigenous activist
expressed his confidence in the struggle of the poor South against the rich,
industrialized North.

Speaking during a session of the Encounter, underway at Havana's
International Convention Center, Evo Morales explained that if the
newly-elected presidents of Brazil and Ecuador -- Lula da Silva and Lucio
Gutiérrez, respectively -- join with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and do
not sign up, the FTAA will fail.

Calling the FTAA the "Free Profit Area of the Americas," Evo Morales warned
that while Washington hopes to annex the economies of Latin America with its
pet project, the problems of the region will not be solved.

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